Written by Charlie Thompson, Edited by April Thorne
In 2018, the newest driver to work their way up to the pinnacle of motorsport was also the second ever Russian Formula 1 driver: Sergey Sirotkin.
In 2018, Sergey Sirotkin managed to secure a contract with Williams for the Formula 1 season. This was at a point in time where Williams had hugely fallen from the highs that once were championship wins in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ rankings - from the likes of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, and Jacques Villeneuve. At this point, Williams were undoubtedly the slowest car on the F1 grid. Despite this, Sirotkin, who had been pushing to get into the sport since 2013, still took up the opportunity.
Let’s just say, he had a difficult season. In his first race, at Albert Park, he qualified 19th, but his race ended prematurely as a sandwich bag that somehow got onto the circuit clogged up his brake system. In the next two races he out-qualified his teammate Lance Stroll on both occasions, and no sandwich bags got onto the track in these races which was also a bonus for him. He failed to score points in the following 9 races, and things weren’t looking good for Sirotkin, as Williams had the current Formula 2 championship leader George Russell waiting in the wings.
However, after the summer break, Sirotkin at last started to find his feet in the Williams car. Despite colliding with Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap at Spa, he managed to finish 12th, a step closer to his first points. Those points finally came when it was time to race at the Italian Grand Prix, as Sirotkin finally finished 10th, scoring his first ever Formula 1 point.
Over the course of the season he didn’t amass any more points, and finished 20th in the championship. Prior to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it was announced that Sirotkin’s Formula 1 career was over, as Williams would not keep him for the 2019 season.
After the 2018 season Sirotkin’s name was never really heard of again. He hasn’t been back in a Formula 1 car since then, however, he has been a reserve driver for Renault in both 2019 and 2020, but never had a chance to race. Outside of Formula 1, he was never really active after 2018 either. He raced in the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans for SMP racing, but the team did not finish, and he also raced 4 times in the GT World Challenge Endurance Cup, but he only scored 7 points.
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